The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today welcomed the Australian Government’s commitment to provide financial assistance to households in response to the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS) but expressed disappointment about the absence of details about energy efficiency measures.
Recent Treasury modelling indicated that the CPRS will increase the price of residential electricity by up to 50 per cent by 2050. PIAC believes that the Australian Government should reduce the exposure of low-income earners to this price hike by assisting them to reduce their household energy consumption.
Mark Ludbrooke, Senior Policy Officer at PIAC, said, ‘We are pleased that the White Paper confirmed the Government’s intention to deliver energy efficiency measures but are disappointed that we’ve not yet seen any details about the nature or extent of this support’.
PIAC contends that households experiencing difficulty with their energy bills should be eligible for free energy audits, hot water heater upgrades, energy efficient appliances, and ceiling insulation.
‘These measures represent the most effective way to assist households to reduce the size of both their carbon footprints and energy bills. Importantly, by assisting low-income households to reduce their bills they’ll also reduce the incidence of electricity disconnections’, Mr Ludbrooke added.
PIAC also notes that the timetable for energy efficiency programs is crucial.
Mr Ludbrooke concluded, ‘It will take time to develop and implement energy efficiency measures for households experiencing hardship. The sooner the Australian Government begins to roll them out, the better prepared low-income households will be to cope with CPRS induced higher energy prices.’
For further information contact Mark Ludbrooke on 8898 6518 or 0433 331 158
MEDIA CONTACT: Dominic O’Grady, Media and Communications Officer,
Public Interest Advocacy Centre. Ph: 02 8898 6532 or 0400 110 169